PDA

View Full Version : Best Cable Release? (Shutter Vibration)



H. G. Hart
14-Feb-2007, 20:17
My cable release recently bit the dust. My new one seems much sturdier, but looking at the variations on cable release design started me thinking about any difference in the amount of vibration that various styles transmit to the lens. Are there any differences caused by the length of the cable or the material it is made of? Do air-bell style releases impart less vibration than mechanical plungers (the style I use)?

Also, are these vibrations irrelevant when compared to those caused by the release of the shutter itself? I'm thinking specifically of Copal 3 shutters which my lenses use. What shutter speeds cause the least vibration and/or what can be done to minimize this vibration. Are any and all vibrations caused by the lens/cable release insignificant in comparison to vibrations from other sources?

I'm not having any specific problems with sharpness per se, I just had not given much thought to this source of vibration before and was interested to hear from anyone with knowledge/experience in these matters.

C. D. Keth
14-Feb-2007, 20:37
The mechanical ones are fine as long as you have some slack in the line to absorb any vibration. The only time I've seen fit to use air releases was for self-portraits because of their length.

naturephoto1
14-Feb-2007, 22:12
My favorite cable releases are the Linhof; presently I have 2 and some inexpensive backups mounted on other lenses. Not really that expensive through Badger Graphic and available in a variety of lengths. I tend to use the one as I remember that is 13" long.

Rich

Hiro
15-Feb-2007, 00:59
I've never even thought of that. Of course it doesn't necessarily mean no effect, but material, length, brand, etc. of the cable seem to be more of personal preference for reasons such as durability, feel, where you stand when you trip the shutter, etc. I'd watch out for obvious culprits like camera/tripod stability and the shutter speed (say 1/2 to 1/30), particularly when a Copal 3 clanks.

Capocheny
15-Feb-2007, 02:26
I've used all kinds of cable releases ranging from Linhof to Ebony to the most generic types. Personally, I prefer a length of about 12 plus inches.

IMHO, if you slowly plunge the release to fire off the shutter, vibration doesn't tend to be much of a problem. As Hiro suggested, it's the other culprits that would contribute more to the problem than the release itself.

For those more costly releases. you're paying for better construction and materials used in the cable release.

Cheers

Walter Calahan
15-Feb-2007, 05:35
Air is the best to prevent vibration.

Cable releases need to be long to absorb vibration. I like those that are over 2 feet long.

The key is not to jab the release. You want a smooth, stead action.

Michael Graves
15-Feb-2007, 05:59
I've got two 20" Copal cable releasae that are cloth covered and very sturdy. At the same time they're more flexible than any others I have and they became my favorite ones. I got them from an old boss who retired 20 years ago and have been using them since. You see them pop up from time to time on Ebay.

Atul Mohidekar
15-Feb-2007, 09:37
I have several cable releases including Minolta, Nikon, Hama, Prontor, generic, etc. They include cloth-covered, metal-covered, vinyl-covered cables. The best ones are Minolta-III and Minolta-II. They are EXTREMELY smooth and are about 16" in length. Nikon comes close second but is about 9". I prefer the longer ones between 15" and 20". IMO, the metal-covered will produce the strongest vibrations (if any) because when I push the plunger the arc of the release moves quite a bit that might cause vibrations. As mentioned by Capocheny, if you push slowly the possibility of vibrations is reduced. Compared to the cable release, some of the other factors that might have greater potential to affect the vibrations are the rigidity of the camera (especially rigidity of the front standard that holds the lens is more relevant for this discussion), the shutter type (0 vs. 1 vs. 3 and Copal vs. Compur vs. Prontor Press vs. Prontor Professional, etc.), the tripod, tripod head and wind conditions.


// Atul

Maris Rusis
15-Feb-2007, 16:51
I've never found any noticable differences between good cable releases in modifying shutter vibration but my favourite release helps eliminate subject vibration.

This release is black, cloth covered, and one metre long. When shooting portraits on 8x10 I hold the plunger end behind my back so the portrait subject cannot see my thumb go down. Maybe I just have skittish subjects but there seems to be a connection between thumb movement, shutter noise anticipation, flash anticipation, and involuntary flinching.

H. G. Hart
15-Feb-2007, 21:25
Well, cable release construction seems to be pretty well covered, but I'm still wondering about the vibrations caused by the shutter itself.

Hiro, did I understand you correctly that sutter speeds from 1/2 to 1/30 sec. are the worst in terms of vibration (that's almost every speed on a Copal 3)? I mostly use shutter speeds between 1/4 and 1/60. I'm wondering how much vibration is being caused, and if it is not entirely insignificant in the grand scheme of things (which it very well may be) what can be done to minimize it.

Hiro
16-Feb-2007, 11:40
Well, cable release construction seems to be pretty well covered, but I'm still wondering about the vibrations caused by the shutter itself.

Hiro, did I understand you correctly that sutter speeds from 1/2 to 1/30 sec. are the worst in terms of vibration (that's almost every speed on a Copal 3)? I mostly use shutter speeds between 1/4 and 1/60. I'm wondering how much vibration is being caused, and if it is not entirely insignificant in the grand scheme of things (which it very well may be) what can be done to minimize it.
H. G.

What I meant is that "sub-second" exposures would be most vulnerable to such vibration--not fast enough to stop it and not slow enough to make momentary movements insignificant. But it shouldn't be an issue if "all secure."

Alas, God decreed the shutter shalt open and close to serve our cause.:) The degree of vibration transmitted is a function of rigidity and mass of the medium. So to minimize the effect, all you can do (I can think of) is the usual precaution--to make sure everything (knobs, screws, camera/tripod combo, etc.) is stable and secure. The weight of a monolith camera and a heavy-duty tripod would also help unless the set up is top-heavy.

You are not having problems, and I wouldn't worry much. If there were a problem, I'd look at it as more of a camera/tripod (individual and matching) issue. If there are NVH engineers in this forum, perhaps they could run some simulations...

Ernest Purdum
16-Feb-2007, 14:59
I think the best cable release is a rubber bulb and tube feeding a deGroff cylinder.

This aside, I use cable releases and am not afraid of disturbing matters as long as I keep the cable bent.

Although shutter induced movement or vibration was sometimes a problem with ancient devices like the I-P roller blinds, modern shutters open and close in five or so directions all at the same time so any tendencies to shake should be pretty well cancelled out.

Since gear trains make sounds audible to ears unlike mine, there must be a measurable vibration involved, but I would be quite surprised to find it actually causing image degradation. o.K., maybe someone can set up a test that proves me wrong.

John Kasaian
16-Feb-2007, 16:14
I've had very good luck with Gepe professional cable releases. Minettes are a close second but mine won't reliably trip my Universals (a lesson learned the hard way!) I've never used a Linhof or Minolta though.

Henry Dove
24-Feb-2007, 05:13
I've used Nikon and Linhof - the Nikon was too short, but had a good collar grip/release system, the Linhof is nice and long (50cm works fine for me) but I'm not a fan of the screw-in grip-release feature - too fiddly especially in the cold! I've just bought a 50cm S&K release from Teamwork in London, and I like the Nikon-style grip-release mechanism and the oversized engineering - at 20 it's also very reasonably priced and I'll probably get another 2 to put in my various lens bags. I also looked at the Silvestri heavy duty release, but it costs 60% or so more for no discernable improvement:) .

docholliday_sc001
4-Mar-2007, 08:09
My favourite release is a Hasselblad release. They're rare, and extremely hard to find, but their construction and operation is 10 times smoother and stronger than any Gepe, Linhof, or Nikon release I've ever used. If you do find one, they gonna go for something crazy like $100 each!

I just try to avoid the cloth covered ones, they die quickly, and they don't absorb as much plunge-motion as a good vinyl covered one.